Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Namesake Journal Entry 1 (Due 4/30)

Step 1

Choose a paragraph or a passage from Chapter 3 of The Namesake that you feel is the most important. How you decide what paragraph is important can be based on anything, really, but here are some examples of how you
might decide:
  • Which paragraph best speaks to you personally, or gives you the clearest image in your mind as you read it?
  • Which paragraph moves the novel’s plot forward the most, based on how you’ve interpreted the author’s use of foreshadowing?
  • Which paragraph most develops the novel’s central character, or a character you particularly like?
  • Which paragraph do you think is most interestingly or beautifully written? Why? What words and sentences make that paragraph so powerful?
  • Which paragraph makes the best use of the literary techniques we’ve discussed so far (characterization, point of view, narrative chronology, or foreshadowing)?
  • Which paragraph best develops the essential themes you see in the novel so far?
  • Any other academically valid reason you find a paragraph interesting or notable.
Step 2

Write a journal entry of about 500 words (usually four paragraphs) that explains your chosen paragraph or passage, and why you chose it. You should summarize the section you choose (explain what happens), analyze the section’s strengths (explain what works well), find specific examples from the text and explain how they relate to your analysis, and finally explain this passage’s relationship to the chapter, and the book so far.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April Break Homework

We'll be spending most of our time in fourth quarter reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. The book is fantastic, and we're going to have a lot of fun reading it. Unfortunately, we won't have enough time to finish reading it if we don't start over break, so I'm assigning the first three chapters of the book (pages 1-71) for reading over the break.

The Reading Quiz
We will be having a reading quiz during the first week after break. But here's the catch: you get to decide what questions will be asked on the quiz. Your homework assignment is to come up with three reading comprehensions questions per chapter (nine total). Here are some guidelines to help you generate your questions:

Your Questions need to be Specific to The Namesake
In other words, you'll need to come up with questions that can't be asked about another book. For instance, the question, "What happens in the first paragraph of chapter one?" could be asked about almost any book, and thus wouldn't be an appropriate question.

Your Questions should Not be Too Specific
Your questions should be general enough that anyone who has read The Namesake carefully should be able to answer them. For instance, "What color is the jacket that Gogol is wearing when he first meets Ruth?" would be too specific.

This homework grade will be worth the equivalent of a week's assignments, and will have a significant impact on your grade. If you turn in nine questions that all meet the above criteria, you'll get a 100. If you only complete a third of the assignment, you'll only receive a third of the credit. Questions that are submitted but do not meet the above criteria will be given half credit. I will be reading online study guide questions, and any assignments with questions plagiarized from these sites will receive an automatic zero.

The Advantage of Submitting Good Questions
If you turn in your homework with several good questions, there is a good chance that I'll use them when I write the quiz for that week. For this reason, if you come up with a list of nine solid questions that are specific enough and that you know the answers to, you'll be in great shape for the quiz, because you'll probably be answering your own questions.